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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Leftists Just Don't Get It

I see and read things at times, and it just makes me shake my head.

I'm a big believer and proponent of freedom of thought and speech.  I'm truly one of those guys that will defend your right to free speech, regardless of how stupid I think your ideas may be.

This article I read in ("Let’s nationalize Amazon and Google: Publicly funded technology built Big Tech") is one such example of stupid ideas.  And not thinking.

Right out of the chute:
They’re huge, they’re ruthless, and they touch every aspect of our daily lives. Corporations like Amazon and Google keep expanding their reach and their power. Despite a history of abuses, so far the Justice Department has declined to take antitrust actions against them. But there’s another solution.

Is it time to manage and regulate these companies as public utilities?
 It goes downhill after that.

The crux of this soft-head's argument is that these companies became so successful, AND because the government invented the Internet, they could not have become what they are WITHOUT the Internet.

Since they're so big, and bad, and mean - and because everyone uses them daily - they must become regulated like power and water companies.  We The People paid for the government, ergo, we should reap the rewards of these companies.

What the hell?

Just like all leftists/socialists/Marxists, the author wants to punish the success of these companies by making them public properties.  They owe us.

And since, in their minds, they should own the companies, the companies should kneel to their every wish.
But what is equally striking about these moves is the corporations’ disregard for basic customer service. Because YouTube’s dominance of the video market is so large, Google is confident that even frustrated music fans have nowhere to go. Amazon is so confident of its dominance that it retaliated against Hachette by removing order buttons when a Hachette book came up (which users must find maddening) and lied about the availability of Hachette books when a customer attempts to order one. It also altered its search process for recommendations to freeze out Hachette books and direct users to non-Hachette authors.
The concept of, "taking your business elsewhere" is foreign to them.  Even when one of their own discusses it.  From the very next paragraph in the story:
Amazon even suggested its customers use other vendors if they’re unhappy, a move that my Salon colleague Andrew Leonard described as “nothing short of amazing – and troubling.”

David Stratfield of the New York Times asked, “When does discouragement become misrepresentation?” One logical answer: When you tell customers a product isn’t available, even though it is, or rig your sales mechanism to prevent customers from choosing the item they want.
What a bunch of entitled, self-centered cry babies.  Seriously.

But in their world, if THEY don't want to take responsibility for themselves and play by the rules, they take YOUR ball and go home.

 This is the same crap peddled by your president.  The whole, "you didn't build that" philosophy of public ownership of everything.

That's called Communism, kids.

So what would be the result if these soft heads at Salon and in DC get their way?  Innovation will die.  The very next day.  Dead as a doornail.

Why would you voluntarily risk your capital, time, expertise and wisdom, only to have the product of your efforts given to others who took no such risks?

If the socialists think it sucks that "unpatriotic" US corporations are rushing for the doors to set up their headquarters in other countries, they ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Everyone with any kind of innovative thought or entrepreneurial inclination would create an exodus of intellectual talent unseen in modern history.

It would leave the remaining Communist hold-outs with a functioning system - that would collapse in short order because there would be no one left to build a better mouse trap.  They'll have to buy their innovations, and that doesn't come cheaply.

Especially when you've got nothing to sell in return.

Think of the Middle East.  They peaked around the 13th century, and haven't had a technological innovation since then.  OK, they invented the water pipe and marching bands (WTF?) in the 16th century.  But still.

Oil save their collective asses (which they could never have extracted without our technological innovation) so they could buy their way into the 20th century.

What are the commie eco-freaks going to sell?  Pottery?  No, that injures Mother Earth.  Coal?  You should be slapped for even thinking it.  Their good looks?  I ain't even gonna go there.  Lumber?  Minerals?  Fracked gas and oil?  SLAP!  SLAP!  SLAPPITY-SLAP!!

The only thing they've got to sell is wet blankets, and I for one, ain't buying.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Because

A friend of mine sent me the link to this video.

There is so much bullshit going on in the world right now, it is refreshing to see something happy, positive and creative.

Enjoy.  It will lift your spirits.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cloward, Piven and Obama

Like most Americans, the news I've been watching and reading has focused on the illegal alien children rushing our southern border.  They get to the border and promptly search out and locate a border patrol agent. 

Why?  Because they're getting in line.  First in, first served, so to speak.  They get sent to one of the very private Club Feds that we've set up around the country to handle the processing.  They are eventually sent on their merry way after a responsible adult is found for them in the US.

Now, this is not done without obligations, though.  No siree.  They must pinkie-swear that they will come back to have a hearing about whether they get to stay here for the rest of their natural lives.  In the mean time, we get to pay to house them, feed them, educate them, doctor them, clothe them - hell, whatever they need.

Last I heard, over 52,000 of these illegal alien minors, plus another 39,000 adults with minor children (that's over 90,000 for the calculator-challenged) have taken advantage of the VACANCY sign, with the number expected to hit an estimated 190,000 before it's all done.

President Barry has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funding just to process all of these kids.  Doing the math once again, that's nearly $20,000 for each person processed.

Man, I gotta get into that business.  The pay is GREAT.

But, it's only the beginning.  And it's just one more piece in a much bigger puzzle.

I was listening to the talking heads on Fox this morning, and most of them were saying the same thing:  This is a horrific mess for Barry, it was handled so poorly, the "optics" suck, and it could mean the downfall of the Democrats.

Are you kidding?  This is working perfectly.  Barry and his minions have this latest operation running in high gear, with nary a sputter from the engine.  They may be hurt in the next election cycle, but so what?  Their long-term strategy is working flawlessly.

Let's say, somehow, the Republicans are able to cap the number of illegal aliens who ooze through our border at the 190,000 figure (highly unlikely).  That means we now have another 190,000 mouths to feed, clothe, house, educate, etc.  For "humanitarian reasons" few, if any will be sent home.

If any of them pop out more kids, the new ones get automatic citizenship.  They're not going anywhere.  I'd bet money that inside of 5 years, bodies directly attributable to this current circus will exceed 600,000.  Easily.  I'm probably being too conservative.

So, if the Dems are going to take an ass-whoopin' in the next election, how can their strategy be working so well?

Because they know that elections are for suckers.  They are irrelevant.  Their real power comes from tearing down our society, blaming the collapse on the conservatives, then building it back up as their socialist nirvana.

Meet Mr. Cloward and Ms. Piven.

Back in 1966, the husband and wife socialist tag-team of Richard Cloward and Frances Piven wrote a paper that laid out their plans to end poverty.  All ya gotta do is ensure everyone has, "a guaranteed minimum income."
The ultimate objective of this strategy—to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income—will be questioned by some. Because the ideal of individual social and economic mobility has deep roots, even activists seem reluctant to call for national programs to eliminate poverty by the outright redistribution of income.

OK, that's all fine and rosy, but, as they themselves noted, people won't stand for that.  "[I]ndividual social and economic mobility..." is a core value of America.  They understood that you had to take little bites at the apple, not gobble the whole thing down at once.

Their idea was to overload the social "safety net" to such an extent that it would collapse, and the new day of socialist nirvana would dawn. 

Things are going according to plan.

Cloward/Piven (CP) saw that it started with Social Security.  Condition the people that getting payments from the government is a good thing.  Good, hard working folks.  Hell, who's gonna say No to that?

You then tweak the system - just a bit - and add a disability component to it.  Who doesn't want to help the disabled, right?

Then you give blacks a "hand up" with affirmative action.  They were treated so poorly until the Civil War, that we just need to help them get ahead.  What, you don't agree?  RACIST!

Just keep piling on these programs that never, ever go away.  Once a social payout gift program is implemented, it keeps on giving - kind of like a venereal disease... and the ideal of America is the body that's rotting from within.

CP understood this and made it the core of their strategy -
Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews wrote that Cloward and Piven "proposed to create a crisis in the current welfare system – by exploiting the gap between welfare law and practice – that would ultimately bring about its collapse and replace it with a system of guaranteed annual income. They hoped to accomplish this end by informing the poor of their rights to welfare assistance, encouraging them to apply for benefits and, in effect, overloading an already overburdened bureaucracy."
Barry executed this plan this perfectly.  He invited south and central Americans to send their kids to the land of milk and honey.  Who's going to say No to kids?  He even planned for transportation for them months before they arrived ("Gov’t Confirms Authenticity of Contract Request for ‘Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children’ at the Border"). 

They got to the border, and he chose to ignore our immigration laws that require him to stop incoming illegals.  He then upholds the law that says we must provide food, housing, et al, if they make it across.

Well played, sir.  Well played.

Maybe Boehner can sue him over this as well.  Sorry, milk just came shootin' outta my nose 'cause I was laughing so hard.

The Dems have embraced this strategy wholeheartedly.  Everytime some special interest group has its free stuff threatened, the Dems cry, "racist" or "hater" or "racist" or "denier" or "racist".  The Republicans curl into the fetal position, and the media laps it up.

Benefits never go away.  Never.

Right now, we have 47 million people on food stamps.  One in every seven Americans.  How are you ever going to stop feeding these people that have become dependent upon government script like a zoo animal is dependent upon its handlers?

You're not.  Not until it all comes tumblin' down.

And that's the plan.  Barry is doing nothing more than adding a few more lengths of straw to the camel's back.  The pressure is never relieved.

Forty-seven million here, another half a million there, and pretty soon, you have a camel with a busted back.

Welcome to America.

Where are YOU hiding your money?  Hide it well, 'cause they've gotta pay for this nirvana somehow...

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How To Encourage Your Customers To Go Elsewhere

My fiscal year ended yesterday for this business.  I know, it sounds like a pain in the butt, but I actually get my CPA fees much cheaper, as CPA firms don't have much business after the April 15th tax rush.

Always looking to save a buck.

Anyways, I decided to pry open the old checkbook and upgrade my version of Quickbooks Pro.  Start the new fiscal year with a nice, clean slate.

I happen to be out and about, so I stop at Office Depot.  It's near my home, and they're generally a good bunch of folks at this store.  Particularly in the printing department, where I get most of my lower-end marketing materials printed.

I find Quickbooks Pro 2014.  It's priced at $199.95 - with tax, that's $216.95 out the door.  I whip out my smart phone, and say, "Quickbooks pro discounts."  DING!  Up pops a Walmart ad showing it at $179.95.  I ask some propeller-head walking the aisles if they do price matching.  Yep.

Cool.  He gets on his walkie-talkie, and lets the register know a "price match customer" is on the way up.  I show the lady at the checkstand my phone, with the Walmart page at the reduced price.

She then gets on the walkie-talkie system and calls for someone to bring me the actual software, as they only have display boxes on the floor. 

Dude shows up with the wrong version.

Off he trots, gets the new one and again asks to see the reduced price.  My smart phone still has the page up, and he says, "I can't find that price on their page on the computer in back.  I think what you've got is a cached page from an old ad."

Mildly insulted - as he's insinuating I'm trying to rip him off - while at the same time, mildly proud that he believed this old fart knew how to do that (I do, by the way!).

I refresh the page, show him it's actually the Walmart page, and it's the mobile site.

"I still can't find it."  Goodness, this isn't in my job description. 

We walk over to a PC, and I say that perhaps Wally World is having a bigger discount for mobile users.  I don't know, and I don't care.  I tell him the steps I went through to get the page.  Am I going to get the discount or not?

He's having none of it.

"Well, sir, I have to find it online.  Our policy says that if the manager (that's HIM!) can't find the discount online, it's not allowed.  I'll be happy to give you our $199.95 price." 

I almost hit him in the head.

I give him one more shot:  "You're saying that because YOU can't find the exact same thing I found - even after I've told you how to find it on YOUR smart phone - you won't match the price of one of your competitors.  You're going to penalize me because of your incompetence?"

That went over like a lead turd, although it did get a chuckle from the check out lady.  Hell, I was leaving anyway, so I might as well have some fun in the process.

I get home, do an exhaustive, mind-bending search... that took 38 seconds... and found a little company that had the software for me to download.  Maybe you've heard of them -  I think they're going places...

They've got it for $169.95.  And no sales tax.  It took 4 1/2 minutes to download.  Less time than I spent with the manager trying to show him how to do his job.

Regular $199.95 + tax = $216.95 out the door
Sale $179.95 + tax = $195.25 out the door
Amazon $169.95 out the door

All in, I saved $47 - nearly a 22% savings.  I need to send the mouth-breathing, soft-headed manager a thank you card.

So, what did we learn today?

If you're a business in a highly competitive industry, build your sales structure to allow your employees to retain the customers that come in the door.  It's expensive to get them there - better make a couple of bucks while you've got them.

If you don't trust your managers enough to have the flexibility to make decisions, you either have the wrong person in the job, or your business model is too rigid to withstand change.

Now, Office Depot obviously knows about Walmart and  All three of them compete on the Internet for sales of office and business items.  With online purchases, the out-the-door price is the primary sales driver, as whatever you order will be there in a couple of days, regardless of which company you choose.

With software and digital media, price is ALL that matters.  Click, click, clickity-click, and you're done.

Office Depot fairly chased me out of their store into the arms of Amazon.  Perhaps Amazon should send the manager a thank you card as well.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.